Jackass: Number Two

2006, Movie, R, 92 mins

Review

JACKASS: NUMBER TWO
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Ask yourself this: Did the title make you laugh? If so, you're probably the target audience for this second feature spun off of MTV's massively successful Jackass series, which mixes elements of Candid Camera, "Stupid Human Tricks" and gay S/M fetish porn into an ungodly, sometimes-inspired and always-outrageous scatological brew. If you answered "no" or didn't understand the question, it's probably best that you stay far, far away from a film that prominently features cavorting, half-naked masochists and a full line of bodily emissions. As ridiculous as it might be to apply any kind of qualitative analysis to what amounts to 92 minutes of gross-out gags and numbskull stunts (plus one big, Busby Berkeley-style musical number), it should be said the antics are actually a lot better and funnier this time around; at least the laughs no longer depend on the bewildered reactions of uncomprehending immigrant storeowners. Stunts range from low-concept farmyard dares (eating a cow patty, swallowing horse semen) to elaborately staged punkings (the piece de resistance involves a fake terrorist, comedy troupe Broken Lizard's Jay Chandrasekhar disguised as a cabdriver, and a beard made of pubic hair); all are guaranteed to make you cringe, gag or both. Series creator Spike Jonze, in full, saggy body prostheses, impersonates an old lady whose dress keeps falling open. Steve-O dons something called a "fart mask" and throws up. Chris Pontius disguises his penis as a little white mouse, then uses it to taunt a venomous snake. Ringleader Johnny Knoxville gets bitten several times by an enormous anaconda lurking in a kiddie-party ball pit, and Bam Margera gets a penis-shaped brand burned onto his bum. The ongoing preoccupation with each others' butts and genitalia, combined with the scarcity of both clothes and women, might lead you to think that the Jackass crew are all really gay. (When their spiritual godfather John Waters appears as a magician who makes Wee Man "disappear," Jackass's queer PINK FLAMINGOS pedigree becomes clear.) But the ambience is so infantile that Freud would probably say Knoxville and crew are just adults stranded on the cusp of the anal and phallic phases. Josie Cotton's classic New Wave staple "Johnny, Are You Queer?," however, is featured prominently on the soundtrack. leave a comment --Ken Fox

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